There are a lot of reasons to get sentimental about the end of baseball’s regular season. Heck, if you didn’t tear up watching Felix Hernandez walk off the mound in Seattle last night, well, we can no longer be friends. Yet, as it pertains to DFS, the final weekend of the season tends to be a nightmare. Yesterday was only a five-game featured slate and somehow we saw both a starting pitcher scratched literally a minute prior to first pitch and the Astros roll out a lineup that looked more fit for early March than late September.
What horrors await us on tonight’s 14-game schedule? Let’s dive into the MLB ether one final time.
StudJames Paxton, NYY at TEX, $11,200 – It’s difficult to know exactly how far Aaron Boone will be willing to push Paxton this evening with almost nothing at stake, but the left-hander is coming off a 29.7 DKFP performance against Toronto where he needed only 87 pitches to get through six innings. Even on somewhat of a leash, Paxton provides upside. That’s especially true with how the Canadian has been throwing across his past six outings. In that span, Paxton owns an immaculate 1.24 ERA and 2.15 FIP, two ratios he’s paired with an eye-popping 32.1% strikeout rate. Paxton has also thrived in left-on-left situations throughout 2019 and Texas sits second in the American League in such plate appearances. It’s a pretty ideal matchup.
Other Options: Marcus Stroman ($10,300), Anthony DeSclafani ($9,900)
ValueTyler Glasnow, TB at TOR, $6,900 – It’ll be interesting to see how deep Glasnow can pitch into tonight’s game. Apparently, the right-hander was supposed to go four innings in his last outing versus Boston, but he was instead pulled at just 52 pitches. That sounds pretty underwhelming until you realize that the 26-year-old racked up seven strikeouts and 19.6 DKFP in that small span of time. Glasnow had a similar level of efficiency against the Angels on Sept. 14 and is actually averaging 5.77 DKFP per inning his past two starts. With the Blue Jays possessing baseball’s highest strikeout rate in the month at 28.4%, there’s no reason to think Glasnow can’t keep these trends going. At below $7K, I truly believe there’s a chance he returns 3x value.
Other Options: Vince Velasquez ($6,200), Nathan Eovaldi ($4,100)
StudMitch Garver, MIN at KC, $5,400 – I’ll assume that the Twins play their regulars this evening after giving everyone a breather on Thursday. If so, Garver is an obvious choice at the expensive-end of the catching pool. In 128 plate appearances versus LHPs in 2019, Garver is slashing .314/.430/.724 with a .410 ISO so high that I had to double-check FanGraphs to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. On a night where you’re likely paying down at pitcher, get a piece of Garver against a left-hander currently sporting a robust 8.14 xFIP.
Other Option: Yasmani Grandal ($5,100)
ValueWilson Ramos, NYM vs. ATL, $3,300 – Speaking of catchers that rake when opposed by a southpaw, Ramos will possibly get his final crack against a lefty this season when the Mets square-off with Dallas Keuchel ($9,600). It’s long been established how well the veteran backstop handles himself in the batter’s box with an LHP on the mound, but 2019 has been especially great. In 123 plate appearances within the split, Ramos owns a 1.00 K/BB ratio and a .396 wOBA. That’s a lot of upside for just over $3K.
Other Options: Austin Romine ($3,800), Carson Kelly ($3,600)
StudLuke Voit, NYY at TEX, $4,500 – The Yankees opened the day with an implied team total of seven runs. Even in today’s power-heavy version of baseball, it’s rare for a club to have a projection so high outside of Coors Field. Still, knowing how much Joe Palumbo ($5,400) has struggled to pitch at Globe Life Park, count me as bullish on New York as the math. The rookie’s faced only 52 batters at home this season, but he’s surrendered a jaw-dropping .490 wOBA to that group of hitters. Voit hasn’t been phenomenal versus LHPs in 2019, yet he is someone who posted a .440 ISO within the split as recently as last year. That’s enough to be very viable in this spot. Other Option: Carlos Santana ($4,600)
ValueEric Hosmer, SD at ARI, $3,800 – So rarely do I endorse the use of Hosmer in DFS, but, if there’s one spot to consider him in, it’s against a gas-can right-hander in an hitter-friendly park. Taylor Clarke ($4,500) has simply been atrocious in 2019. Of the 191 pitchers to allow more than 200 batted ball events this season, no National League player has surrendered barrels at a higher rate per plate appearance than Clarke (9.0%). The 26-year-old has given up 2.53 home runs per nine overall and possesses a 6.11 xFIP when dealing specifically with LHBs. If Hosmer can’t do any damage here, the Padres should be able to void his awful contract.
Other Option: C.J. Cron ($3,700)
StudDJ LeMahieu, NYY at TEX, $5,400 – It’s just hard to not get a piece of LeMahieu against a left-handed pitcher. While some of his astonishing numbers from the year’s first-half have faded down the stretch, the veteran’s statistics against LHPs have only become better. In 89 plate appearances since the All-Star break, LeMahieu is slashing .425/.483/.775 with a .350 ISO and a 229 wRC+ within the split. That doesn’t even seem possible. Other Option: Mike Moustakas ($5,000)
ValueWilmer Flores, ARI vs. SD, $4,200 – The ideal spot to utilize Flores is to catch him on a night he’s facing a left-handed pitcher at Chase Field. An evening exactly like Friday. In his 57 plate appearances under these precise circumstances in 2019, Flores is slashing .377/.421/.736 with a .358 ISO. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but we’re talking about someone who also possesses a .360 wOBA against southpaw pitching dating all the way back to the beginning of 2016. He’s in a position to thrive versus Eric Lauer ($7,200).
Other Option: Tony Kemp ($3,900)
StudEugenio Suarez, CIN at PIT, $4,600 – Let’s go full narrative street. I think it’s safe to guess, that with three games left on the schedule, Suarez is going to be going all out to try and hit his 50th home run of the season the next few days. He might not get a better chance than this evening’s meeting with Steven Brault ($4,300). The left-hander’s surrendered seven long balls in his past four starts, a span of time in which opponents have mustered a .407 wOBA off of the 27-year-old. For Suarez, who owns a 155 wRC+ against LHPs in 2019, the matchup is almost too good to be true. Other Options: Rafael Devers ($5,500), Miguel Sano ($5,100)
ValueJoey Wendle, TB at TOR, $3,300 – Wendle’s generally been hitting leadoff for the Rays when they’ve faced a right-handed pitcher and tonight’s opposition is of that persuasion. T.J. Zeuch ($5,900) has been relatively unremarkable since making his MLB debut almost a month ago, but he has posted an ugly 2.05 WHIP against LHBs in that short stretch of time. With Wendle owning a respectable .840 OPS within the split since his return from injury, his recent form and high-leverage order placement should be enough to bring back some value.
Other Option: Todd Frazier ($3,600)
StudAlex Bregman, HOU at LAA, $5,200 – Going back to the beginning of August, 121 batters have at least 50 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. Of those 121 individuals, only one has maintained a wOBA of above .550 within that span: Bregman. The man has been on an absolute tear the past two months, slashing .376/.481/.751 with a 221 wRC+ overall. It doesn’t really matter who he’s facing of where he’s doing it. Bregman has reached a point where he’s viable on every slate. Other Option: Marcus Semien ($4,800)
ValueWilly Adames, TB at TOR, $3,600 – Adames has been a completely different hitter away from Tropicana Field in 2019. In fact, his .378 wOBA on the road this season is a massive improvement upon his .242 mark in Tampa Bay. His favorite place to hit? Canada, apparently. In six games at Rogers Centre this year, Adames has hit three home runs in just 21 at-bats, leading to the 24-year-old owing an insane 1.405 OPS at the stadium. Small sample? Sure. Yet the Blue Jays’ pitching staff does little to dampen my excitement over Adames’ value on this slate.
Other Option: Nick Ahmed ($3,900)
StudAaron Judge, NYY at TEX, $5,300 – If you’re thinking about stacking the top-half of the Yankees’ lineup, it’s hard to justify the decision without including Judge. The hulking outfielder sports a 192 wRC+ in his 122 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching in 2019, a figure he flaunts alongside a .459 expected wOBA within the split – the third-highest qualified mark in all of baseball. Palumbo does have some strikeout upside, but if Judge is able to make contact, it’s a home run waiting to happen. Other Options: Charlie Blackmon ($5,600), Nelson Cruz ($5,500)
ValueStephen Piscotty, OAK at SEA, $3,900 – It’s unclear if Piscotty will make his return to the lineup this evening, but he was activated off of the IL prior to yesterday’s win over Seattle. If he is in fact in there tonight, he’ll also need to be in your lineups. Piscotty has slashed .360/.391/.628 with a 169 wRC+ in his 92 plate appearances versus LHPs this season. Considering Justus Sheffield ($8,700) has allowed a .381 wOBA to RHBs, Piscotty should shake off any rust quickly against the rookie.
Other Options: J.D. Davis ($4,000), Josh Naylor ($3,600)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.